Center for Strategic Communication

A spokesman for Pakistan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs claimed that his country takes “immediate action” against any terrorist groups that are sanctioned by the United Nations when responding to questions about the purported recent ban of the Haqqani Network and Jamaat-ud-Dawa. But the Haqqani Network was designated a terrorist group by the UN in 2012, and Jamaat-ud-Dawa in 2005.

“When any entity or individual is proscribed by UN, we take immediate action,” the spokesman claimed when asked by a reporter to confirm if the Haqqani Network has been banned by Pakistan, according to a transcript released on the Ministry of Foreign Affair’s website.

The spokesman also deferred reporters’ questions about the purported ban of the Haqqani Network and Jamaat-ud-Dawa to the Ministry of Interior and “NACTA,” or the National Counter Terrorism Authority, and maintained that Pakistan bans all groups and individuals proscribed by the United Nations.

“JuD [Jamaat-ud-Dawa] and some other organizations are listed by the United Nations,” the spokesman stated. “Pakistan, as a member of the United Nations is under obligations to proscribe the entities and individuals that are listed. We take our obligations very seriously and try to meet these obligations scrupulously. Once any individuals and organizations are proscribed by the UN, we are required to freeze their assets and enforce travel restrictions. We take that action.”

Although numerous news outlets have reported that the Haqqani Network and Jamaat-ud-Dawa have been banned in Pakistan, no official announcement of the group’s status from the government or the Ministry of Interior has been released.

Haqqani Network, Jamaat-ud-Dawa desginated by UNSC years ago

In the past, Pakistan has not taken “immediate action” against terrorist groups and entities listed by the United Nations Security Council. If so, the Afghan Taliban, the Haqqani Network, and Jamaat-ud-Dawa would have been banned in Pakistan years ago. In fact, the Pakistani government and military and intelligence establishment have ignored many of the terrorist designations.

The most blatant example is the dismissal of the UNSC’s designation of the Afghan Taliban. The UNSC first listed the Taliban as a terrorist organization in 1999, under Resolution 1267. The sanctions regime on the jihadist group has been renewed numerous times, and its latest incarnation is Resolution 1988.

Resolution 1267 lists scores of Taliban leaders, commanders, and operatives, and four Taliban-related groups: the Haqqani Network and Rahat Ltd. (both listed in November 2012); Haji Khairullah Haji Sattar Money Exchange and the Roshan Money Exchange (both listed in June 2012). Despite these listings, Pakistan has never moved to halt the activities of the Afghan Taliban; in fact, Pakistan remains a sanctuary for the Afghan Taliban, including the Haqqani Network, despite officials making unsubstantiated claims that the Haqqani Network’s “infrastructure [was] totally destroyed” during military operations in North Waziristan.

Members of the Haqqani Network, which is closely linked to al Qaeda, and the Afghan Taliban operate openly in Pakistan, without fear of detention by Pakistani authorities. Jalaluddin Haqqani, the founder and patriarch of the Haqqani Network who served “as Minister of Frontier Affairs of the Taliban regime,” was listed by the UNSC in January 2001, nine months before the 9/11 attacks on the US. His son, Sirajuddin, who serves as the operational commander of the Haqqani Network, was listed by the UNSC in 2006. Both men operate with the support of Pakistan’s military and the Inter-Services Intelligence Directorate to this day.

Jamaat-ud-Dawa, which is a front for the Lashkar-e-Taiba, a jihadist group that operates in India, Afghanistan, and throughout South Asia and beyond, was listed by the United Nations as a terrorist group in 2005. In 2008, Lashkar-e-Taiba/Jamaat-ud-Dawa created the Falah-i Insaniat Foundation to skirt the ban. The United Nations added Falah-i Insaniat Foundation to its sanctions list in June 2010, but it wasn’t correspondingly blacklisted in Pakistan.

Even if Pakistan is to ban groups it has long ignored, despite its stated obligation to do so, it is unlikely that doing so will have have an impact without the military and intelligence services ending their decades of support for these groups. This is unlikely, as, despite Pakistani officials’ claims that there are no more distinctions between “good” and “bad” Taliban, the military and ISID continue to use Taliban groups that do not overtly threaten the state as proxies in its war in Afghanistan and for strategic depth against India. [See: Analysis: Reported ban of Haqqani Network unlikely to end Pakistan’s support of group.]

For more information on the US designations of the Haqqani Network and other terrorist entities, see:

US adds Haqqani Network to list of terror groups
US adds Pakistani hawala, 2 Taliban financiers to terrorism list
US Treasury targets money exchanges, owners, for funding Taliban
US designates Lashkar-e-Taiba’s charitable front as terror group